Final Report: Bandeirante pilot overflew Vermont airport

 - February 27, 2009, 10:31 AM

Embraer EMB-110P1 Bandeirante, Pownal, Vt., Aug. 4, 2006–The NTSB blamed the crash of the AirNow EMB-110 on the ATP-rated pilot’s misinterpretation of the airplane’s position relative to the final approach fix. Contributing to the accident were low clouds.

The pilot’s destination was the William H. Morse State Airport, in Bennington, where the missed approach point is 6 nm beyond the VOR. There was no dedicated distance measuring equipment (DME) on board; an IFR-certified Garmin GPS 155 provided the distances. The pilot made a missed approach on the first attempt at the missed approach point. On the second attempt, he passed over the VOR, at 100 feet above the minimum altitude. Instead of descending, the airplane maintained that altitude until it reached the airport, then began descending, hitting the rising mountains 6 nm beyond the airport. Investigators could not determine the historical waypoint selection from the GPS. The pilot could have selected the airport as a “direct to” waypoint, or, if he had entered flight-plan waypoints, the unit would have sequenced from the VOR to the airport during the first approach. In either case, unless the pilot reprogrammed the unit, the last waypoint entered would have remained at the airport, rather than the VOR. The pilot then most likely mistook the airport position for the VOR position, and displaced the beginning of the descent by 6 nm. The pilot was killed and the aircraft destroyed.